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Why You Shouldn’t Use a SLR (Surveyor’s Location Report) to Build a Fence

by Cindy on October 22, 2014

In Indiana, Surveyor Location Reports (SLRs) are regulated by Title 865 of the Indiana Administrative Code ("Rule 12").  SLRs were designed for use by title insurance companies when issuing loan policies on residential properties.  Rule 12 specifies that SLRs are intended for use on small tracts containing a one (1) to four (4) family house.  They may also be used on such houses even if they are currently being used for commercial purposes (e.g., a house that has been converted for use as a small business), but its use on nonresidential properties is restricted to tracts of two acres or less.
 
The accuracy of measurements shown on a SLR varies based on the size of the tract of land involved, but in any event, it will be considerably less than that found on a boundary or ALTA/ACSM Land Title Survey.  For a tract of land in a recorded subdivision, the accuracy of measurements can be plus or minus one foot.  For other tracts of land outside recorded subdivisions, the accuracy can be less - plus or minus two feet.  Even lesser accuracies are allowed as long as the surveyor explains why.
 
So why shouldn’t you use an SLR to build your fence? An SLR is simply not accurate enough to be used for construction purposes.  In fact, the mandatory certification on the face of an SLR states “… No Liability will be assumed for any use of the data for construction of new improvements or fences.” 
 
It is also very important to note that boundary monuments are not set as a part of a Surveyor Location Report.
 
Building a fence is a significant investment. Having a boundary survey performed by a qualified professional surveyor, during which boundary markers will be set, and a signed, certified drawing provided, is necessary when improvements are being constructed.